Re: Social and Political Aspects (again)
Wed, 7 Jul 1999 14:26:45 -0400 (EDT)
I feel like one reply to my posting unfairly put words in my mouth: I never said
that big=efficient. Quite the contrary, if all costs of production and
processing (especially ecological and sociological)were accounted for in the
price of a good, and all benefits (including external ones, like a more heathy
eco-system and aestheitc benefits of farms)were reflected in revenue, small may
very well be more efficient
My point was that the problem lies in the way that costs and benefits are
measured and the policies that allow firms to externlize their own costs, not
with the discipline of economics or even markets per se.
Other than efficiency (measured, say, by the lowest cost per unit of benefit,
however you choose to measure these things), I wonder what other criteria ought
to be used to allocate resources? Centrally planned economies have had huge
eco/socio costs as well...
I agree that costs like pollution, displaced families, dying rural towns, etc.
and benefits like those mentioned above, ought to be included in the price of s
good. However, these concepts are extremely difficult to measure..most
economists I know just assume them away.
Maybe I'm a rat on a sinking ship..maybe I'm honorably trying to reform my
profession. I'd like to think the latter..and that it is worth reforming
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